Thirty seven years today

We were married on this date in 1978, in St Michael’s Cathedral in Wollongong.  It was a cool but fine day, and while I remember most of the day, I’ve always wished I remembered more of the ceremony.  I know I was shaking while my Dad walked me down the aisle, and grasped Kevin’s hands with a grip of steel while Canon Goodhew smiled reassuringly.  Diana was only 15 and wouldn’t smile because she had braces, and Glynis had just come out of hospital after a threatened miscarriage.  She gave birth to Stephen in December that year.

In true O’Neill fashion we didn’t really celebrate our anniversary.  Neither of us bought cards or presents, and although we had lunch out it was at the cheap as chips Italian in Gateshead and we were joined by our son, who didn’t even offer to buy a drink! But it was a remarkably decent lunch for £7.99 for three courses (bruschetta, very good pasta and coffee).  We came home full as googs, and later delivered Michael to the Job Shop to sign on, from whence he was going to St James to apply for casual work during the season.

It’s been raining all afternoon, though did get up to the heights of 18 degrees today.  Note that this is the middle of official summer.  The year we were married we arrived here in July.  It rained until November when it snowed.  A thirty seven year weather cycle.?

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Tuesday

This is the first blog on my WordPress site.  I will be updating often, about life in Gateshead, which is not going to be as exciting as life in Crawley.

We are all looking for work as Kevin’s retainer will not allow us to have exciting holidays, or return home (probably in February) by business class.  One does get used to the finer things of life.

But Gateshead is not entirely lacking in interesting things.  Tesco, for instance, is now a ten minute walk away.  Trinity Square (the shopping centre) has the usual chain shops, lots of take away restaurants (now there’s a misnomer), a cinema and several pubs.  And, to quote Cat Stevens, ‘in the street the children play’.  Yes, they do.  On scooters and bikes, with NUFC soccer balls, and with dogs and cats.  And if this works, and anyone reads it, there’s more to come…